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Pelvic Girdle Pain and Lumbar Pain in Pregnancy: A Cohort Study of the Consequences in Terms of Health and Functioning

Gutke, Annelie, RPT; Östgaard, Hans Christian, MD, PhD; Öberg, Birgitta, PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000201259.63363.e1

Study Design. A cohort study in pregnancy.

Objectives. To differentiate between pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) and lumbar pain, and to study the prevalence of each syndrome and its consequences in terms of pain, functioning, and health.

Summary of Background Data. When studying prevalence, etiology, and consequences, differentiation between PPGP and lumbar pain is important, and, to our knowledge, its consequences for functioning and health during pregnancy have not previously been studied.

Methods. All women answered questionnaires (demographic data, EuroQol). Women with lumbopelvic pain completed the Oswestry Disability Index, pain intensity measures, in addition to undergoing a mechanical assessment of the lumbar spine, pain provocation tests, and active straight leg raising test.

Results. Of 313 women, 194 had lumbopelvic pain. The PPGP subgroup comprised 54% of those women with lumbopelvic pain, lumbar pain 17%, and combined PPGP and lumbar pain 29%. Women having both PPGP and lumbar pain reported the highest consequences in terms of health and functioning.

Conclusions. Pain intensity, disability, and health measurements differentiate subgroups of lumbopelvic pain in pregnancy.

The study describes a cohort of pregnant women divided into 4 subgroups comprising those having pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, lumbar pain, combined pelvic girdle and lumbar pain, and no lumbopelvic pain. Women with combined syndrome had the highest impact in terms of health, functioning, and pain.

From the Department of Health and Society, Division of Physiotherapy, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Acknowledgment date: February 3, 2005. First revision date: July 4, 2005. Acceptance date: July 25, 2005.

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

Foundation funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Annelie Gutke, RPT, Department of Health and Society, Division of Physiotherapy, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden; E-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.